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Thom Brown Travel - A silhouette of a backpacker in a field at sunset

How Travelling Abroad Alone Can Be More Fulfilling

Many people travel alone, but the benefits of solo travel aren’t stated enough. Personally, I enjoy travelling on my own, but I also love having a travel buddy, whether that’s a best friend, family member, or girlfriend. It’s great to do both, but if I had to pick which one was better, solo travel wins every time.

It all comes down to what you want from travel. If better travel is your goal, then you want to be free, you want adventure, and you want to grow as a person. Travel should change you, and it should change you for the better.

Freedom, adventure, personal growth: here’s why they make solo travel the best.

The Solo Traveller Experiences Freedom in Solitude

Travel is, to a large extent, a search for freedom. To live life on one’s own terms is a primary goal of the wanderer. Whether you like it or not, you lose some freedom when you’re around other people. You must take their preferences into account and you can’t always take the journey that you most desire.

Of course, selflessness is another life lesson, but don’t underestimate the importance of personal freedom. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of waking up in the morning and knowing that every decision you make that day will be yours and yours alone.

Whether to sleep in or watch the sunrise; whether to stay longer or hit the next town; what to eat for every meal: you must be alone to gain this radical freedom.

Freedom is an amazing feeling, but it comes with its fair share of burdens.

Do you trust yourself to make the right decisions? You now have complete ownership over your own wellbeing. That’s a scary thought, but it’s an important travel lesson and one of the main benefits of solo travel.

Benefits of solo travel involve the hike up a mountain
This man travelled across Africa alone. I met him during a hike up one of Ghana’s tallest mountains. We sat at the top and discussed the benefits of solo travel.

Use Solo Travel to Find Adventure

Travel is also about making life just a little bit harder for yourself. How hard you want to make it depends on who you are and what you want to achieve. I’m not one to offer much in the way of wisdom, but:

If you do just one thing, make your life more of an adventure.

Adventure is the thing that makes you excited to keep living. It raises your spirits during the toughest moments. Meanwhile, solo travel is a simple way to instantly inject some adventure and excitement into your daily life.

As a solo traveller, you have no one else to rely on: if you want to travel somewhere, you’ve got to figure out how the local transport works; if you want to make new friends, you’ve got to find the confidence to talk to people. There’s nowhere to hide.

They say a problem shared is a problem halved. Well, I say an adventure shared is an adventure halved. Things are much more dangerous – and exciting – when you tackle them alone. As always, stay safe. But spending more time as a solo traveller will add adventure into your life.

A solo traveller walking at sunset
Wandering alone at sunset, I was dependent on no one but myself.

Embracing Discomfort for Personal Growth

Solo travelling is scary, which is why many people choose not to do it. To this day, I get sick (literally-physically-throwing-up-sick) any time I travel on my own to a new country. This sure is uncomfortable, but discomfort is the only way to achieve personal growth.

Better travel means using travel to become a better human. When you travel alone, you are practising extreme self-reliance. You’re throwing yourself into situations where you have no choice but to survive. You’ll need to rely on strangers and figure out what to do when you’re jetlagged, exhausted, and confused. This is seriously uncomfortable, which is exactly why it’s a major benefit of solo travel. You’ll emerge a stronger, wiser, better traveller.

Help me promote better travel!

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